Which Android video player supports EAC3 audio?

EAC3, also known as Dolby Digital Plus, is an enhanced audio codec that supports up to 7.1 channels of surround sound for an immersive audio experience. It builds upon the standard Dolby Digital (AC3) format by adding support for more channels, higher bitrates, and improved compression to deliver higher quality audio, especially for streaming and Blu-ray content.

Many Android users want EAC3 support so they can take full advantage of surround sound on their home theater systems when playing back videos, movies, and streaming content. Without EAC3 support in their video player apps, they are limited to standard stereo sound instead of the immersive surround experience.

What is EAC3 Audio?

EAC3, also known as Enhanced AC-3 or Dolby Digital Plus, is an advanced surround sound audio codec developed by Dolby Laboratories. It is an improved version of the older AC-3 (Dolby Digital) format, providing more efficient compression and allowing support for up to 16 channels of audio [1].

Some key technical features of EAC3 include:[1]

  • Supports up to 16 channels of audio vs only 5.1 channels in AC-3.
  • Improved compression efficiency – provides 2:1 compression vs AC-3.
  • Supports bit rates from 32 kbps to 6.144 Mbps.
  • Backward compatible with AC-3 decoders.
  • Supports higher sampling rates – up to 96 kHz.

The EAC3 format is widely used for surround sound audio tracks in Blu-ray discs, digital TV broadcasting, and streaming media. It provides an immersive audio experience with support for advanced speaker configurations beyond 5.1 surround sound.

Compared to other surround sound formats like DTS-HD or Dolby TrueHD, EAC3 is more optimized for lower bitrates and efficient transmission over bandwidth constrained media like streaming. However, it has lower audio quality than lossless formats like TrueHD at higher bitrates[2].

EAC3 Support on Android

EAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus) audio codec support was first added in Android 3.0 Honeycomb in 2011 [1]. Since then, EAC3 has been supported in later Android versions like 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, 4.1 Jelly Bean, etc. However, EAC3 support varies across different Android devices depending on the hardware and software implementation. Many modern Android phones, tablets and TV boxes running Android 5.0+ come with native support for EAC3 passthrough and decoding.

For example, Nvidia Shield TV, Xiaomi Mi Box S, Fire TV Stick 4K and Sony TVs with Android TV have system-wide EAC3 support. On the other hand, some cheaper Android boxes may lack EAC3 support in their stock ROMs. Users then need to install custom ROMs or codecs to enable EAC3 playback. Overall, EAC3 is widely supported on mid-range and high-end Android devices from the last 5-6 years.

Video Players with EAC3 Support

There are several popular Android video players that support playback of videos with EAC3 audio tracks. Some of the most commonly used options include:

MX Player

MX Player (source) used to be one of the top choices for playing EAC3 audio, but recent versions no longer support DTS and Dolby codecs like EAC3. Using an older version of MX Player that still has EAC3 support is an option for devices running older versions of Android.

VLC Player

The VLC media player (source) is a popular open-source option capable of handling many audio and video formats, including EAC3. It’s free and works well for EAC3 playback on most Android devices.


Kodi (source) is a powerful media center app for Android that can play EAC3 and many other audio formats. It requires setup and configuration but provides a full-featured playback experience once set up.

BS Player

BS Player (source) is a lesser known but capable video player for Android that supports EAC3 passthrough and decoding. It offers a free version with ads or a paid ad-free version.

GOM Player

GOM Player (source) is another option for Android that can handle playback of videos with EAC3 audio. The app is free but contains ads.

MX Player

MX Player is one of the most popular and widely used video players on Android. It has robust support for playing videos with EAC3 audio. According to a Reddit discussion on r/androidapps, MX Player version 1.56.2 and above can play EAC3 audio natively without any additional codecs, provided the phone already supports EAC3 decoding in hardware.

In the app’s settings under Audio, there is an option to enable “Audio passthrough” which will send the raw EAC3 audio track directly to a compatible device like a receiver. Users report excellent 5.1 surround sound playback this way. The audio quality is described as crisp and clear.

MX Player also has advanced settings to tweak the audio delay if needed to sync audio perfectly with video. Overall, it provides a robust high-quality playback experience for videos with EAC3 5.1 audio on supported Android devices.

VLC Player

VLC player is one of the most popular and widely used video players for Android. It is an open-source, free media player that can play most video and audio files.

VLC has excellent support for EAC3 audio. According to various forums and reviews, VLC can smoothly play EAC3 5.1 surround sound without any audio lag or latency issues. Users report high quality audio playback and an immersive surround sound experience with VLC.

In the audio settings of VLC, you can configure the audio output mode, enable audio pass-through for EAC3, and adjust other parameters like stereo widening and audio track synchronization. This allows you to customize the audio playback to suit your preferences.

Overall, users find the EAC3 playback experience on VLC player to be top-notch. The seamless audio sync and detailed sound makes it a great choice for enjoying movies or videos with EAC3 5.1 audio on Android devices. With regular updates and a robust audio engine, VLC remains one of the best options for EAC3 support.


Kodi is one of the most popular and open source media players for Android. It has robust support for playing videos with EAC3 audio thanks to its audio engine. According to the Kodi forums and Github issues, Kodi can pass through EAC3 audio if the audio settings are configured properly.

In Kodi’s audio settings under System > Audio, make sure options like “Allow passthrough” and “Dolby Digital Plus (EAC3) capable receiver” are enabled. This will allow Kodi to send the raw EAC3 audio track directly to an external audio system that supports decoding it, instead of having Kodi try to decode it internally. There are also audio configuration options to enable EAC3 transcoding if your system requires it.

Some users have reported issues with getting EAC3 playback working properly in Kodi, often fixed by adjusting these audio settings. According to Kodi’s Github issue #23363, a common solution is to go to Kodi’s expert audio settings and make sure “Allow passthrough” and “Dolby Digital Plus (e-ac3)” options are enabled before trying to play EAC3 content. This allows Kodi to successfully pass through the EAC3 audio track.

BS Player

BS Player is a popular video player for Android that provides support for playing videos with EAC3 audio tracks. According to users on forums, BS Player will recognize and attempt to play EAC3 audio but may display an error message that a codec is needed to play this type of audio (source).

To enable EAC3 capabilities in BS Player, users may need to download an additional codec from the Google Play Store. However, even after installing a codec, some users report that EAC3 audio still does not work properly in BS Player (source).

The user experience for EAC3 support seems inconsistent based on forums and reviews. Some users note success after tweaking settings, while others are unable to get EAC3 audio working even after troubleshooting. Overall, BS Player’s EAC3 support appears spotty and may require advanced configuration.

GOM Player

GOM Player is one of the most popular video players for Android that supports EAC3 audio playback. According to GOM Player’s listing on Google Play, it supports “various subtitle formats and high-quality video formats.”

In the audio settings, GOM Player has options to enable Dolby audio, including support for Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus codecs. EAC3 is an enhanced version of the Dolby Digital Plus codec, meaning GOM Player can handle EAC3 audio passthrough and decoding.

GOM Player uses its own optimized engine for smooth video playback, even for high resolution and high bitrate videos. For audio, it can play uncompressed multichannel audio, providing an immersive listening experience on devices that support surround sound output.

Overall, GOM Player’s robust format support, audio settings, and playback optimization make it a great choice for anyone needing an Android video player that can handle EAC3 audio tracks.


To summarize, there are several good video player options on Android that support EAC3 audio playback. Based on features and performance, the top recommendations are:

  • MX Player – A very popular, full-featured video player with excellent EAC3 support. Smooth playback and lots of customization options.

  • VLC Player – A highly capable open source player, great for playing many formats including EAC3 audio tracks.

  • Kodi – A powerful media center app, great for managing and playing local media files and streams. Solid EAC3 support.

BS Player, and GOM Player also offer good EAC3 playback and are worth checking out. Overall, Android users have several solid choices for playing videos with EAC3 5.1 surround sound.

Testing out a few options to find the best fit for your preferences is recommended. Factors like smooth performance, subtitle support, and video format compatibility should be considered when selecting the ideal EAC3-capable video player.

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